Long acting calcium channel blocker
Together with angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers are the most frequently used for the treatment of hypertension in Japan due to their reliable antihypertensive action (efficacy for blood pressure reduction) and outstanding tolerability (with few serious side effects and little impact on the patients with complications such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia). In particular, dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are widely used as the first hoice for the high blood pressure medication.
However, in the past, the lowering action for blood pressure of CCBs has been short lasting, and such as reflex tachycardia caused by an abrupt reduciton of blood pressure have been concerned. Therefore, the development of CCBs that achieve more gradual and sustained reduction of blood pressure has been promoted. Calblock®tablets (azelnidipine), a long acting CCB co-developed with Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., is a CCB that shows a stable and gradual lowering action for blood pressure over a 24-hour period with once daily dose.
Clinical development of the drug began in 1988. It was approved for the indication of hypertension in January 2003 and launched in Japan in May. In addition, it is common for a number of antihypertensive agents to be prescribed in the treatment of hypertension. As CCBs and ARBs are the most compatible, this is a frequently used combination.
UBE has been promoting co-development with Daiichi Sankyo of azelnidipene and Daiichi Sankyo’s ARB olmesartan (Olmetec® tablets) as a combination drug with the aim of achieving convenience and compliance in taking medication as well as even better control of blood pressure. Approval for Rezaltas® combination tablets was obtained in January 2010, and launch of sales began in April.